London Skolars hope continuity benefits them in new format

London Skolars’ Director of Rugby Mark Croston says the change in format to League One will present a new challenge this season.

The Super 8s format has been scrapped in favour of the traditional home and away fixture draw, meaning the Skolars will play the other 13 teams twice over the campaign.

Last year, they missed the cut for the Super 8s and ended up losing the League One Shield final to Hunslet.

Croston said: “It’s going to be different playing everyone twice. We’re confident that with us keeping the squad together and having that continuity that we’ll go well this year.

“A big emphasis this year is trying to build in pre-season to get off to a good start and then take it game by game.”

The Skolars have pulled off a coup in bringing former London Broncos and Hull KR flier Omari Caro back to the capital, and he is joined by adopted Londoner Neil Thorman.

Though they lost captain Dave Williams to retirement, they have retained the bulk of their 2017 squad which won 12 of its 22 games last season.

Croston added: “Fans do obviously tend to get excited by new signings and they haven’t seen a great number of players come in.

“But London fans are great and they’ll get behind us no matter what.

“I do think once they’ve seen us play a few games, they will understand that even though we haven’t signed many players, which is unusual for a London team, it was to keep that continuity and keep the base of young London players.

“Omari Caro is a big name for us to bring to the club, he’s got Super League experience, he’s had a good impact and the young boys from last year who got experience have come back hungry and are raring to go.”

Skolars kick-off the season with back-to-back away games against North Wales (Sunday) and Bradford (March 4th), before hosting Newcastle and Workington.

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